cook one day and eat healthy the rest of the week

Like all cooks, I am an addicted consumer of TV cooking shows. I see them all, on any theme, from any country, but the ones I like the most are the ones that test the creativity of the participants.

When I lived in London there was one that I loved: two guests brought the ingredients they had bought to the set. With one limitation: they could only spend 10 pounds sterling (about 12 euros). With what they brought, two chefs had to prepare three dishes that would impress the judge and the public.

Cooking is also knowing how to take advantage of the food in your pantry

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And I think that’s what cooking is all about. To see what you have, or what you can when you have a limited budget, use your culinary knowledge, creativity and imagination. The best dishes are always the most original, not the ones with the most expensive ingredients.

That is why I like to say that this weekly menu is a guide and that I would love for those who use it to create new things based on what I propose: which is, as always, the #lunessincarne, three portions of vegetables, two of fish and lots of fruit and vegetables. Bon Appetite!

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Weekly menu

Monday

Breakfast: Crepes

Lunch: Chickpea curry, sautéed rice with vegetables

Snack: Fresh fruit or dried fruit

Dinner: Pumpkin cream

Tuesday

Breakfast: toast with hummus

Food: Burgers, baked potatoes, tomato salad

Snack: Fresh fruit or dried fruit

Dinner: Garden salad with hard-boiled egg

Wednesday

Breakfast: Low sugar cereal with milk and nuts

Food: Fish casserole, rice

Snack: Fresh fruit or dried fruit

Dinner: Pasta salad

Thursday

Breakfast: Toast with peanut butter

Lunch: Spaghetti with meat sauce

Snack: Fresh fruit or dried fruit

Dinner: Leek cream with potatoes

Friday

Breakfast: Eggs as you like

Lunch: Fish pie

Snack: Fresh fruit or dried fruit

Dinner: coke of vegetables

Shopping list

Dairy products

2 liters of milk
200 grams of fresh cheese

Fruits and vegetables

1kg onion
1 ½ kg of tomato
1 kg of carrot
1 ½ kg of potatoes
1 medium pumpkin
1 lettuce
2 eggplants
1 cucumber
3 or 4 red peppers and one green
1 head of garlic
2 or 3 leeks
1 or 2 stalks of celery
Parsley
3 or 4 kg of fresh fruit

Fish

8 (100 – 125 g cu) hake fillets or other white fish

Butchery and delicatessen

1 kg of minced beef

Cans and preserves

2 boats (400 g cu) chickpeas
1 medium pot of hummus
1 small jar of peanut butter
1 small jar of mayonnaise (you can make it at home with this recipe, but the ingredients are not included in the shopping list)
½ liter of seafood broth

packed and frozen

1 and ½ dozen eggs
½ kg of short pasta
½ kg of spaghetti
500 grams of pizza dough
1 small box of low sugar cereal
½ kg of rice

Bakery

1 kg of fresh sliced ​​bakery bread (village bread, farmhouse bread, country bread, etc.).

condiments and others

Salt
Pepper
olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
dried rosemary
Dried oregano
bay leaves
sweet paprika
chemical yeast

Step by Step

1. Turn on the oven at 180ºC. Bake one pepper, one eggplant and two onions whole and with skin, until soft and slightly toasted. You will use them in the next preparation.

2. For the vegetable flatbread: Cut the pizza dough into two equal parts spread up to a cm thick. Place them on a baking tray and top them with the baked vegetables: bell pepper, eggplant and onion. Season with salt and olive oil. If you want to prepare it to store, cook it for about 10 minutes, remove from the oven, let it cool to room temperature before putting it in the freezer or fridge. If you are going to cook it before serving, bake it for about 15 minutes, or until the crust begins to brown.

3. For the fish pie: use this recipe. Just keep in mind that instead of cod, we can use any other fish. I recommend making the dough first and letting it rest. You can also buy the ready-made dough and save yourself another step.

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Cod and green pepper empanada

Third parties

4. For the baked potatoes, You can make this recipe in the microwave.

5. To prepare the sofrito, coat bottom of wide skillet with olive oil. Saute over low heat four or five onions, seven or eight cloves of garlic, a leek (the white part) and two peppers cut into very small pieces. When the onion is poached, divide the sauce into three parts:

a) For the meat sauce for the pasta: Add two grated carrots, an eggplant cut into small cubes and a finely chopped celery stalk. Season with oregano, black pepper, and ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar. Let sauté over medium low heat until the eggplant is soft. You can cook the pasta for up to two minutes less than what the package says and store it in the fridge to put it in boiling water for a couple of minutes before serving. Or you can make and store the sauce, and prepare the pasta just before serving.

b) For the fish casserole: Add two chopped tomatoes to the sauce. Cook over medium/low heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomato falls apart. Add the fish fillets and a cup of seafood broth. Lower the heat and cook covered for about 15 minutes.

Meat sauce

meat sauce for pasta

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c) For the chickpea curry: add the chickpeas, the coconut milk (previously processed in the blender with the canned tomatoes) and the curry, and let it gently boil for about five minutes.

6. For the pancakes: a super simple recipe. In addition to the fact that they can be made several days in advance (which is the idea in this column), you can also make a large batch and freeze.

7. For the potato and leek cream (Monday dinner). An onion, two leek stalks (the white part), three potatoes. Sauté the onion with the leek. When they are translucent, add the diced potatoes. Top with three to four cups of water or broth. Cook over medium heat until the potatoes are very soft. Season with salt and white pepper. Process with blender or pymer.

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Leek and potato cream

Third parties

8. For the fried rice with vegetables: Cook a cup of rice following the directions on the package. Meanwhile, put in a wide frying pan, or a wok, the sofrito, and ½ courgette, ½ pepper and ½ carrot cut into cubes. When the vegetables begin to be tender and shiny, add the rice (already cooked) and mix everything very well. Season with salt and white pepper.

9. For the pumpkin and carrot cream (Thursday dinner): Add a teaspoon of grated ginger, about four cups of butternut squash, and two diced carrots. Season with salt and white pepper. Add ¾ liters of water or broth, and cook until the vegetables are very soft. Process with blender or pymer.

10. For the burgers: Divide 500 grams of meat into eight balls of equal size. On a very hot griddle or frying pan, place and flatten four balls with the help of a spatula or the bottom of a pot. Season with salt and pepper and cook until lightly browned (approximately 3 minutes per side).

hamburger in the pan

hamburger in the pan

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11. For the rice: cook two cups of rice following the directions on the package.

12. For the garden salad with hard-boiled egg: Cook four eggs (15-20 minutes at a gentle boil). use the lettuce
as base. Add tomato, cucumber, olives, grated carrot, use your imagination and all the ingredients you want. Season with salt, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

13. For the pasta salad: Same as the previous preparation. Cook two cups of pasta following the directions on the package and unleash your creativity!

Recommendations for a successful ‘Baig cooking’

one

Use airtight containers to store your dishes

2

Take advantage of the oven to cook large quantities.

3

Use creativity. Prepare large quantities of the same food and serve it in different ways throughout the week

4

Let food cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge

5

The microwave, the blender and the freezer are your allies. Take care of them!

6

Don’t worry too much about the perfection of the recipe, but about the balance. If your meals contain protein, fiber, and a good amount of fruits and vegetables, you’re on the right track.

7

Label the containers on the outside so you can easily identify the contents of each one.

8

Don’t lose your papers! Film paper, paraffin paper and aluminum foil. Always have them at hand.

9

Don’t be ashamed of boats, cans and semi-prepared foods (omelette, pizza dough, cooked vegetables). Great chefs use them all the time. They also save time and money.